Red Bull are currently the team to beat in Formula 1 and the team's advisor Helmut Marko has revealed that their car will continue to be developed until August.
Max Verstappen leads the Drivers' Championship by 18 points over Lewis Hamilton, whilst Red Bull have a healthy advantage of 40 points over Mercedes in the Constructors' Standings. It's an advantage that Marko hopes to at least maintain over the next three races prior to the four-week break following the Hungarian Grand Prix.
"It's nice that Toto Wolff is worried about our car for next year," joked Marko to RacingNews365.com. "Of course we develop the car more until the summer break.
"That's always been our goal. The development of the car for 2022 is never compromised by our program."
The compromise between remaining competitive this season and being strong at the start of 2022, when F1 introduces a new set of technical regulations, has been difficult to judge for the teams especially with a budget cap in place.
Marko wants to avoid BMW's mistake in 2008 which put them out of championship contention despite having a good car.
"We are developing longer and that is because we have a chance to win the world title," explained Marko. "We saw what happened at BMW in 2008, Robert Kubica had the fastest car but the business plan was focused on 2009.
"In Formula 1 you have to take every opportunity. We have the capacity and started developing the 2022 concept early. We will introduce the upgrades for the current car in the second half of the season, but the work for the development in the wind tunnel is already behind us."
Red Bull have won the last four races on a variety of low-speed and high-speed tracks which has seen the title race swing towards them. Marko believes a key aspect of the RB16B is its all-round ability on any type of circuit.
"The overall advantage we have is that our car has been fast on every circuit to date," said Marko. "We were continuously fast with relatively few adjustments. At Mercedes, you can see that they have to make a lot of adjustments to the car. Hamilton usually manages to do this, so he is there at the right time.
"But it's clear that Mercedes sometimes experiment. Monaco is an example of that for me. Valtteri Bottas was very strong there and Lewis nowhere. In Baku, it was completely reversed. It seems that risks are being taken. With us, fewer adjustments are needed. The car is immediately competitive."
In the coming days, there will be more to come from our interview with Helmut Marko.
It's time for the latest episode of our new Formula 1 podcast, with F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Thomas Maher discussing Max Verstappen's ever increasing championship lead, and whether Mercedes can turn things around over the next few races..